Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial hosts the famous "Gateway Arch" on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The Mississippi is an incredibly important river for the United States. It provides drinking water for millions of people, hosts thousands of plant and animal species, and makes the plains of the United States a fertile place to raise crops. To educate youth about the Mississippi's significance, the Educational Department of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial created six interpretation programs that are tailored to a variety of ages, focus on the Mississippi's water cycle, and address the Mississippi's environmental merits and risks to its ecosystems. Challenging topics such as the competition between groups who use and conserve the river are tackled as well. They present the programs on riverboats where students can learn about the river firsthand. To create the program, the Education Department partnered with thirteen organizations, including the Bi-State Development Agency (which provides the riverboats); the Jefferson National Park Association; local Boy and Girl Scout Troops; the public school system; and the St. Louis Children's Aquarium. Demand for the program is high, and to date more than one thousand children have learned why the mighty Mississippi is important and what they can do to protect it.
Elisa Kunz, NPS
Charles W. Mayo, Program Manager of Interpretation and Education, NPS
Peter Hovey, Jefferson National Parks Association (park partner)
Diane Weber, Jefferson National Parks Association (park partner)
Debra Westfall, Jefferson National Parks Association (park partner)
Debra Westfall, Diane Weber, Steven Griles, Peter Hovey